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Saturday, April 07, 2012

Day 3: Sailing to the Marquesas

March 6, 2012
Position at 0500UTC: 19°17.96'N 110°48.46'W
Day 3: Mexico to Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia.

Today we are anchored snugly at Isla Benidicto about 230nm South of Cabo San Lucas for a brief stop to do some snorkeling.

So approaching Isla Benidicto around 10AM last night we stopped the boat and 'hove to' or basically dropped sail and drifted until we could motor into the anchorage in daylight. A little to our surprise we found s/v Blue Rodeo, s/v The Rose and s/v Shanti Anna anchored in the South anchorage. We motored by each boat in turn for a chat before dropping the hook and some breakfast. Around 10AM we invited the crews of the other yachts to join us for a snorkel trip aboard LightSpeed to a offshore a rock pinnacle on the North end of the island called the 'Boiler' to look for giant Manta rays and Hammerhead sharks. It was a little rough with Westerly winds, but we managed to drop the hook on top of the 'Boiler' in about 15' of water then hang on the chain in about of 90'-100' off the edge of the pinnacle.

On a scale of 1-10 I'd give this snorkel 9 as in super, super cool as we had several Giant Mantas 8'-10' wide, dolphins, a few white tipped sharks, tons of Lobsters and too many other fish to count. Mark from s/v Blue Rodeo rode a Manta for over three minutes with his SCUBA gear down to 80' before letting go. Snorkel with the group was a unique opportunity to share an amazing experience. I dove down around 30' feet several times to touch the back of the Mantas which have rough skin sort of like 20 grit sand paper combined with the texture of a cats tongue. However, I didn't have the guts to grab on to the top edge of the mouth for a ride like Mark. Maybe next time, I'll try if I have a solid breath of air in my lungs for the ride. Underwater visibility can be 100' plus feet, but today it was only maybe 30' so tomorrow we'll try another site and hope to see the big hammerheads.

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